Ranchi: Normal life in Jharkhand was affected with the nationwide strike called by various political parties, including ruling partners BJP and JMM in the state, in protest against FDI in multi-brand retail and hike in diesel price.
Slogan-shouting bandh supporters squatted on railway tracks in Koderma, Dhanbad and other places disrupting train services for over a couple of hours, railways sources said.
BJP activists also put up blockades on national highways, affecting vehicular traffic, to protest Centre's decision allowing FDI in retail, hike in diesel prices and limiting subsidised LPG cylinders.
Work at PSUs was affected following disruption of transportation of coal, iron ore, bauxite and other minerals in view of the stir. Most educational institutions, shops and business establishments remained closed for the day.
"The BJP demands immediate roll back of diesel prices and limitation of subsidised LPG cylinders," party spokesman Pradip Sinha said at a gathering in Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric-JVM) president Babulal Marandi, JMM vice president Sudhir Mahto, RJD state unit president Girinath Singh and Left leaders also demanded immediate rollback of the decisions. JMM and JVM are supporting the UPA government at the Centre.
A report from Jamshedpur said train services on Howrah- Mumbai route under Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway has been affected as the BJP and JVM workers squatted on track at Rajkharswan, Adityapur, Salgajhuri-Govindpur stations.
Railway sources said Howrah-bound Geetanjali Express, and Tata-Gua Passenger were among several trains stranded due to the blockade. The Bhubaneswar-bound Rajdhani Express which was stranded for about half an hour at Adityapur, has left for its onward journey after agitators withdrew the blockade but other political party activists took over the spot soon after, the sources said.
Barring some stray incidents of smashing of glass panes of autorickshaw and commercial vehicles in Jamshedpur, the bandh was by and large peaceful so far, a report said.